Album #299: Eels – Earth to Dora

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Label: E Works/PIAS
  • Best Track: Of Unsent Letters

Who doesn’t like Eels? They’re one of those bands who nobody ever slags off. And with good reason – they write consistently impressive stuff.

Not that I’ve heard a great deal of it really. I still think of their 1996 debut Beautiful Freak when I hear the band’s name, an album I think I own but I’m not sure I’ve ever listened to. I probably just saw it in a £4.99 section somewhere and liked the singles ‘Novocaine for the Soul’ and ‘Susan’s House’, both of which reached the UK top 10. Yes, songs like that in top 10! With, you know, guitars, drums, clever lyrics and songwriting talent!

‘Novocaine… ‘ is also probably one of the earliest songs containing the F-word to reach the top 10, and on new 13th album Earth to Dora, Mark ‘E’ Everett remains keen-tongued. ‘Are You Fucking Your Ex?’ is as literal as it sounds, and somehow feels like the lynchpin of the album. I prefer the two tracks after it though – the pizzazz of ‘The Gentle Souls’, which I think has a trumpet thrown in there, followed by the blubbering ballad ‘Of Unsent Letters’.

I wouldn’t exactly rush out and buy this, but Eels remain quaint and comforting – an aura they’ve cultivated since day one.

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